It's a fresh breath of Londonderry air! Derry-Londonderry has been named the UK’s first City of Culture for 2013.
"It’s a testament to the passion and hard work that the city has already invested to win against such tough competition," Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain said. "This is an enormous opportunity to project the city not just across the UK but onto the world stage, changing perceptions and ensuring a sustained tourism legacy. We have seen how powerful culture can be in connecting people together and we look forward to working with Derry/Londonderry in conjunction with Tourism Ireland and NITB to mount a strong international pr and marketing campaign."
Dawe also added that VisitBritain worked as international marketing partner to Liverpool in the run up and during its time as European Capital of Culture, and saw perceptions of that city transformed both for residents and visitors. She has hard facts to back up that statement: Overseas visitor numbers to Liverpool has tripled in recent years.
City of Culture 2013 aims to build on the success of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture 2008, which had significant social and economic benefits for the area. The other candidates on the final shortlist were Birmingham, Norwich and Sheffield.
Photo by Sean Mack